Sir, will there be only a few saved?
Today’s 1st reading presents us with the teaching that the salvation of God is extended to all the nations of the earth and it is our task to 'proclaim his glory,' (c.f., Is 66:19) inviting all to the Kingdom of God. And although salvation is offered for all, not all will succeed (c.f., Lk 13:24).
Often the hard sayings of Jesus are ignored. Although heaven is offered to all, Jesus’ Blood was poured out for many, for the forgiveness of sins. Of course these are the words of consecration, instructing us that those who do not receive forgiveness remain eternally separated from God.
Dear brothers and sisters, it is not God who holds back his unfathomable mercy, it is those who cannot understand their need of God’s mercy and reject it, who come to separate themselves from God. This is terrifying: “Lord we once ate and drank in your company ...I do not know where you come from, away from me.” This ‘place’ of darkness within an unrepentant heart is not compatible with the Spirit of God’s kingdom.
This is very sobering for us who approach the Eucharist. Cleary canon law states we have to be properly disposed (Canon 915) to receive communion otherwise we eat and drink judgment upon ourselves (1 Cor 11:27-29).
Of course Jesus wants us to be properly disposed and to come to communion. “Try your best to enter by the narrow door” (Lk 13:24) is his exhortation to us. Salvation is not easy. It comes with a price. It comes with struggle and pain. God chastises all his children as “suffering is part of your training” (Heb 12:7). Another way of saying this is God prunes or cuts away what is not of his kingdom, and these sorts of painful trials are a healthy sign. And as we grow and recognise our need of mercy, sacramental reconciliation is essential to navigating this narrow path.
And when we come to the Lord and receive communion with trust the graces we receive from our Lord our beyond what we could imagine. I’ll finish with a beautiful story from the diary of Sr Faustina Kowalska:
(149) All night long, I was preparing to receive Holy Communion, since I could not sleep because of physical suffering. My soul was flooded with love and repentance.
After Holy Communion, I heard these words:- You see what you are of yourself, but do not be frightened at this. If I were to reveal to you the whole misery that you are, you would die of terror. However, be aware of what you are. Because you are such great misery, I have revealed to you the whole ocean of My mercy. I seek and desire souls like yours, but they are few. Your great trust in Me forces Me to continuously grant you graces. You have great and incomprehensible rights over My Heart, for you are a daughter of complete trust. You would not have been able to bear the magnitude of the love which I have for you if I had revealed it to you fully here on earth. I often give you a glimpse of it, but know that this is only an exceptional grace from Me. My love and mercy knows no bounds.
Pope Francis will be welcoming the Our Lady of Fatima statue from Portugal to the Vatican next month. He plans to use the occasion to consecrate the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary—as Pope John Paul II had done in 1984 and 2000—just as the Blessed Mother had requested in her 1917 apparition to three shepherd children at Fatima, Portugal in order to foster world peace. Indeed, with the crises in Syria and Egypt boiling and threatening to spillover to neighbouring states, the looming crisis over Iran’s suspected nuclear weapons program, and Russia’s growing anti-western foreign policy stance and a more assertive role in the rapidly deteriorating Middle East, Pope Frances’ consecration to Our Lady of Fatima is urgently needed.
While the Marian apparition at Fatima is widely and rightly acknowledged among Catholics for its heavenly offer of assistance to humanity, another and more recent apparition with an offer of another mighty weapon for the Church’s spiritual arsenal goes unused. Just as the Fatima apparitions occurred at the closing stages of World War I, other and just as significant apparitions occurred at the ending of World War II in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Those apparitions had even more to say about the future of international politics than those at Fatima and were given by the Blessed Mother in some 56 appearances to a humble Dutch woman from 1945 to 1959. The apparitions after investigation and discernment were courageously declared in 2002 by the bishop of Amsterdam, Jozef Marianus Punt, as worthy of belief. Tragically, Bishop Punt’s declaration has been largely ignored by much of the Church hierarchy and the faithful.
The Blessed Mother in the Amsterdam apparitions called herself “The Lady of All Nations” and warned of a coming age of “degeneration, disaster, and war.” But she offered help if Catholics would petition the Holy Father to proclaim the fifth and final Marian dogma with Mary as “advocate, mediatrix, and co-redemptrix.” That proclamation would be the capstone of the Church’s four “dogmas” or solemnly pronounced doctrines about the Virgin Mary. First, Mary is the Mother of God (Council of Ephesus, 431). Second, she is a Perpetual Virgin (Lateran Council, 649). Third, Mary was conceived without original sin, or her “Immaculate Conception” (Bl. Pius IX, 1854). And fourth, Mary was assumed body and soul into heaven, or her “Assumption” (Pius XII, 1950).
The Lady of All Nations promised that the proclamation of the fifth and final Marian dogma would bring about a descent of the Holy Spirit in a fashion akin to the Pentecost and the founding of the Holy Catholic Church after Christ’s Ascension from earth to heaven. To prepare the world for this mysterious new Pentecost, the Lady of All Nations asked the faithful to share the image of her apparition in Amsterdam and to daily recite a short prayer:
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Father, send now your Spirit over the earth. Let the Holy Spirit live in the hearts of all nations, that they may be preserved from degeneration, disaster, and war. May the Lady of All Nations, the Blessed Virgin Mary, be our Advocate. Amen.
When one takes a glance at the world stage today, one sees the world in a state of degeneration, disaster, and war just as the Lady of All Nations had warned in Amsterdam decades ago. She revealed, for example, that the world’s climate would drastically change long before anyone ever uttered the words “climate change” as we commonly do today. Climate change is now on pace to happen 10 times faster than any change recorded in the past 65 million years, according to a team of Stanford University professors. Meanwhile, societies are crumbling, economies are failing such as the European Union’s monetary experiment, political chaos and violence are increasing, especially in the Middle East where Syria has used chemical weapons against civilians, all of which seems to be tearing the world apart. Social scientists have impressively harnessed information technology to graphically show the growing frequency and intensity of turmoil, protests, and violence since 1979 in the world. All of these events conform to the warnings of those given by the Lady of All Nations in Amsterdam to prove the authenticity of the apparitions there.
With the world’s descent into political, military, economic, environmental, and societal chaos, it behoves Catholics to contemplate the fifth Marian dogma as an unused weapon in the Church’s arsenal. The popes of Catholic Church, based on scripture and tradition, have officially taught over the course of centuries that the Virgin Mary, Mother of Jesus, is also the Spiritual Mother of All Peoples. Mary performs this role as spiritual mother to humanity in three basic ways: as advocate, mediatrix, and co-redemptrix.
Our Lady’s role as advocate simply confirms that this mother intercedes for our wants and needs with a maternal perseverance and power beyond that of any of the other saints. Mary brings the needs of mankind to the throne of Christ. She is the principal intercessor on behalf of her earthly children, and as queen, she has the greatest possible intercessory power to Jesus, the king of the kingdom of God, for humanity’s needs. In the Old Testament, the queen mother of the king had the greatest power of intercession to her son, the king in the line of David, on behalf of the Jewish people. In the New Testament, Mary is the new queen mother who gives birth to the “king of kings,” and is crowned as the queen and advocate in the kingdom of God to become the greatest intercessor for the people of God to Christ the King. For this role of interceding for humanity, Mary is called the “advocate,” her most ancient title, dating back to the 2nd Century.
Mary is the mediatrix for humanity who spiritually nourishes her earthly children by dispensing the graces of salvation. At the Wedding of Cana, Mary interceded to bring the graces of Jesus to all of humanity. She “mediated” or interceded to bring Jesus himself, the source of all graces, into the world. Mary too was appointed by Jesus himself at the climax of his redeeming sacrifice on the cross to become the spiritual mother of all peoples and to dispense to humanity heavenly graces when he said to Mary, “Behold, your son.” Jesus then told John, and all those who seek to become beloved disciples of Jesus, to “behold your Mother.” For these roles in dispensing the saving graces of Jesus to her earthly children, Mary is called the “mediatrix of all graces.” As Bl. John Paul II explained, “mediatrix is implicit in the term, mother.” The papal Magisterium of the last two centuries has consistently taught this Marian role as mediatrix of all graces, and Pope Benedict XVI Emeritus published this same title on 11 February 2013, the day he announced his resignation.
Some readers at first glance of the proposed fifth dogma would understandably baulk at the concept of Mary as “co-redemptrix.” They might object that Mary was human while only her divine son Jesus could redeem humanity with his crucifixion. But taking a deeper look at the proposed dogma, one sees that it reinforces—and does not contradict— Church beliefs and teachings. Mary uniquely shared in the work of Jesus to redeem the human family, both by giving Jesus his body, the very instrument of redemption, and by suffering with Him at Calvary in a way unparalleled by another other creature. For this extraordinary role with Jesus in saving souls, Mary has been called the “co-redemptrix” in the Church since the 14th century. The prefix “co” means “with,” not “equal.” It must be stressed that Mary is not a goddess on a level or equality with Jesus, but rather she is the unique immaculate human co-redeemer with Jesus, just as every Christian is called to be a “co-redeemer in Christ,” as Bl. John Paul II was fond of saying.
It is clear then that the recognition of the Blessed Mother as advocate, mediatrix, and co-redemptrix, has a long tradition in the Church even if it has not yet been proclaimed dogma. Likewise, the petitioning of the Holy Father for the declaration of dogma is a Church tradition. Petition drives for Marian dogmas are simply Catholic precedence. They are not democratic power plays seeking to force the Pope’s hand. Instead, petition drives are to be seen as manifestations of the sensus fidelium (the “common consensus of the faithful”) in encouraging the Holy Father to a particular course of action which the faithful discern to be for the good of the Church.
Authentic Catholic petition drives must be a request of something that conforms to the faith and moral teachings of the Church and must be submitted with an unconditional obedience to the ultimate discernment and decision of the Vicar of Christ. The Marian dogmas of her Immaculate Conception and her Assumption, for example, were solemnly proclaimed only after a lengthy petition drive from the Catholic faithful to the Holy Father. Before the papal definition of the Immaculate Conception by Blessed Pius IX in 1854, millions of petitions from the Catholic world were sent to the Vatican, with particular perseverance coming from Spain and its Catholic government. In the case of the Assumption, infallibly declared by Pius XII in 1950, over 8 million petitions spanning 95 years were documented by the Holy Office in support of this Marian dogma.
History shows that graces have been poured on the Church after Marian dogmas are proclaimed. The historic situation of the papacy and the Church was bleak, for example, just before the proclamation of the Immaculate Conception. Pope Pius IX had been chased out of the Vatican by Masonic forces from southern Italy. While in exile in Gaeta, two cardinals approached the beleaguered Holy Father with the remedy to this dire situation: proclaim the dogma of the Immaculate Conception. Pius IX acquiesced to their request and from exile wrote to the world’s bishops to state his intention to proclaim the new Marian dogma. The dogma was proclaimed, the papacy was restored, the Vatican and Church were secured, and the Marian dogma of the Immaculate Conception was subsequently declared infallible by the Holy Father.
The proclamation of the fifth Marian dogma would satisfy God’s condition of never forcing grace upon us. The Holy Father’s free acknowledgement and solemn announcement of Mary’s roles as advocate, mediatrix, and co-redemptrix would allow her to fully enact these motherly roles of intercession on behalf of humanity. Since Mary’s motherly titles also are her motherly functions of grace for the Church, the more solemnly we acknowledge these motherly roles, the more powerfully she can exercise them. If these roles were to be infallibly proclaimed by the Holy Father as the highest authority of the world, this proclamation would inextricably lead to the fullest possible release of heavenly graces through our Blessed Mother.
The proclamation of the dogma of Mary “Advocate, Mediatrix, and Co-redemptrix” by the Holy Father would enable the Mother of Jesus to shower the world with a historic outpouring of grace, redemption, and peace in a new and dynamic way—an event which Marian apparitions like Fatima refer to as the “Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.” Pope Francis has been on a blessed tirade of Marian teaching and witness starting with his very first papal act going to St. Mary Major’s Basilica in Rome to thank and honour Our Lady, to his return visit there in early Mary, and to his request to have his papacy consecrated to Our Lady of Fatima on 13 May. The Holy Father will be wielding a powerful spiritual weapon in one hand in October when he consecrates in the world to Our Lady of Fatima. We hope and pray that Pope Francis will soon pick up with his other hand the spiritual weapon the Lady of All Nations offered the Church in Amsterdam by proclaiming the fifth and final Marian dogma. The Holy Father and the Holy Catholic Church will need the weapons of both Fatima and Amsterdam to combat the onslaught of evil as evidenced by the world’s heavier, intensifying, and quickening degeneration, disaster, and war.
The signs of the Lord's 2nd coming
What have we got? Poor old Jeremiah stuck in the mud and St Paul who exhorts us to fight against sin that clings to us so easily, just like mud. In the Gospel we have baptism, the bringing of fire to the earth, distress and division – it’s not peace that Jesus brings, but division. The struggle against sin, division and distress are all themes from the readings this week.
This is all a part of living in the end times. And although we don’t know the day or hour, Jesus invites us to attend to the signs of the coming of the Son of man (Mt 24:30-36). Recently, we have reflected upon the breaking of the seals of the apocalypse (Rev 6-8) and how this unleashes God’s judgment, war, economic chaos and famine, and death. Then persecution, illumination and purification – all leading up to the day of the Lord.
We have also reflected on the scriptural idea that the Great Revolt – which we seem to be experiencing today, is the great sign of this happening. And when Lord does appear, he will come amid flaming fire (2 Th 2:7-8) which we hear again today, “I have come to bring fire” (Lk 12:49-53). Also we read in Revelation that, “fire from the altar [will be] hurled down onto the earth” (Rv 8:5). Fire means purification. Divine love purifies! So when the Lord comes, it will be to purify the world.
Before this happens we enter the time of the Great Revolt (2 Th 2:3) or apostasy which we are currently in. This time of rebellion that St Pauls warns us is leading to the 2nd coming, is prophesied by the Lord himself who said, “people will be deceived, lawlessness will increase, love in most people will have grown cold ...the kingdom will have been proclaimed to the whole world as evidence, and then the end will come” (Mt 24:11-14). Apostasy and judgment.
There is, however, ‘something’ restraining the wicked One from appearing and for all this to come to pass. Scripture says that once this is removed, the wicked one will appear openly (2 Th 2:6-7). Since the Paschal mystery that is the source of God’s grace and presence, the Mass qualifies as that ‘thing.’ Changing the Mass or forbidding it would abolish the Sacrifice and remove the Lord’s presence, thus allowing the abomination of desolation to enter the Church and the horrible sacrilege to occur (Mt 24,15).
We are on the precipice. Rebellion and revolt are worldwide. It has come because we have apostatised from God. We do not accept the authority of God and of our Lord Jesus today. Religious deception has come upon us because we have no love for the truth. St Paul continues, God will send on people a power that deludes them, so they believe what is false and take pleasure in their wickedness (2 Th 2:11-12).
And we truly have apostatised from God: gay and lesbian marriage is okay, killing unborn babies and killing terminally ill people is okay, not to mention the breaking of every commandment. The internet is awash with pornography, Perth sees violent crime daily. Everyone can bring to mind the chaos that is unprecedented in the world including the earthquakes, extreme climate phenomena, the revival of communism, global civil unrest, not to mention the global financial crisis.
But, above all, the apostasy is from within the Church. Catholics know clearly what it is they are rejecting. Some say that some churchmen are mindfully trying to abolish the Mass. These are the signs of the second coming.
Let’s revisit the Gospel. “Do you suppose that I am here to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division.” God has a beautiful plan. And now is time to take sides, to get with God’s plan and stand on the side of truth; it is time to purify ourselves by obeying the truth (1 Peter 1:22).
Mary’s life is an example of how our relationship with Jesus should be. The Gospel story highlights the trust Christians should have in Jesus and how, because we know that God is looking after us, we should set our whole heart on God’s kingdom.
Because Mary had this beautiful relationship with Jesus, in everything she did, she put God 1st. Is this how you live your life?
The Church teaches us that the “Sunday Eucharist is the foundation and confirmation of all Christian practice” (CCC 2181). This is because Jesus commanded his Apostles to celebrate this – the mystery of our redemption – so we could continue to share in its fruits and similarly offer ourselves to each other.
For example, we couldn’t ‘see the need of another and respond to it’ (cf. Mary MacKillop) with God’s love in our hearts without going to Mass on Sundays: to be a part of the parish community, to celebrate, to worship. At Mass the Spirit fills us in a particular way when we commune with Jesus and the Spirit conforms us to Christ so we can respond to the rest of the gathered Church as if we were loving ourselves. That is what happens when the community, or Body of Christ, gathers on Sunday (or the vigil) to worship God.
Mary understood this keenly and like every other Saint, made the Eucharist the foundation of her life. She adored God’s will, writing in a letter that God’s will is “beautiful.” Wouldn’t you want to experience this beauty in your life? Mary MacKillop wants you to know that God is calling you each to come to the Sunday Eucharist because this is the foundation of your life. It’s the beginning of a beautiful life you will not otherwise know.
This calling is not only her call to you, but it is a call of the Spirit. This Sunday we will hear that we must be ready for the Son of Man who is coming at an unexpected hour. The interior losing of faith in the living Gospels and the reality of our Lord Jesus Christ in our lives is the sign of Jesus’ coming.
St Paul, talking about the coming of the Lord, says that Jesus will not return until the time the great apostasy or rebellion (2 Thessalonians). The faith will have spread throughout the world and then, with the falling away from the faith, humanity will know what they are rejecting. This is a sign of the second coming. This is what occurring now.
Now is the time of God’s favour; now is the time to respond to the call of Jesus which has gone out to all people. However, only the elect respond. Are you disposed to this calling? Can you say with Mary MacKillop: “the love of my sweet Jesus is too strong, too beautiful, and His merits too great, for me not to cling to Him?” Come back to Him, come back to safety; come back to the sacraments of not only Sunday Eucharist, but also regular confession.
“At an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come”
What we are seeing today is an unprecedented falling away; a wholesale leaving of the Church; a wholesale apostasy. If we look at the condition of the Church in Western nations, particularly Western Europe and North America there is an unprecedented rebellion against the truth as revealed by God and contained in the Church’s deposit of faith.
The unique characteristic about the apostasy of our time is that we are under no violent pressure to betray the faith. It is more an interior losing of faith in the living Gospels and the reality of our Lord Jesus Christ in our lives, working out salvation history.
The spirit of the devil/satan has been operative with a new kind of power. The Lord permitted this as a great testing of mankind. We have been weighed in the balance and have been found wanting.
St Paul, talking about the coming of the Lord, says that Jesus will not return until the time the great apostasy or rebellion (2 Thessalonians). The faith will have spread throughout the world and then, with the falling away from the faith, humanity will know what they are rejecting. This is a sign of the second coming.
Jesus also indicated in the Gospels that Church would apostatise and “many will turn away from the faith” (Matthew 24:11). This is a sign that the Lord is near and will act definitively in history to re-enter history in such a way that no person will be able to deny his existence.
At this point in history – many who have fallen into heresy and apostasy – do not know what they are doing, they don’t know who they have rejected. But the time will come when they will know and that will be the moment of choice for mankind.
One reason that people don’t know what they are doing is the great confusion within the Church. Let’s recall that Cardinal Müller (Manifesto of Faith) issued a warning last February that to “keep silent about …[the] truths of the Faith …represents the last trial of the Church and leads man to a religious delusion, “the price of their apostasy” (CCC 675); it is the fraud of Antichrist.”
Instead of the truths of faith being taught, the Church seems to preach a “perverse political form of a secular messianism” that seeks to erect a false religion in place of the reign of God over humanity (CCC 676). According to the Catechism this is where the Church is headed and according to the Gospel (Matthew 24:4,11) many of us will be deceived. Many will arrive in a very dark interior place not understanding how they got there. Most won’t understand what they have rejected nor what they have begun to embrace!
What we need is the Church to speak with great clarity with great love for mankind and love for the truth. Wherever there is confusion we have a factor contributing to the delusion which satan and the antichrist will bring upon humanity.
My advice to this community: heed today’s Gospel. “Gird your loins and light your lamps and be like servants who await their master’s return.”
Based on an interview with Michael O'Brien (John-Henry Westen Show) http://www.johnthebaptistmoora.com/346443107/6797945/posting/mass-apostasy-doctrinal-confusion-are-sure-signs-of-anti-christ-1-of-2-john-henry-westen-show